Exciting times coming up for Bureau Doove about which more soon. In the meantime some news about two of the artists that we support.
Anna Walker will be take part in RE:SOUND, the 8th International Conference on the Histories of Media Arts 2019 – Aalborg, Denmark from this coming Tuesday. RE:SOUND is part of the Media Arts Histories conference series, bringing together leading researchers, artists, and scientists on a series of interdisciplinary topics for over 14 years.
The RE:SOUND conference will take a specific interest on the theories, practices, histories, etc., of art and technology which are focusing on, concerned with, reflecting on, including, mobilising and/or working with sound as a main component or an integral part.
Anna Walkers’ arts-practice balances the auto ethnographic with the critical, utilising personal experiences to facilitate a greater understanding of memory, trauma and its wider cultural implications. She has been exploring trauma in her work for many years, how the body responds to overwhelming traumatic and stressful situations and how it reorganises itself to cope with or manage the trauma. Most recently research has focused on intergenerational trauma, i.e. what gets passed down from generation to generation. For example, the moving Image work: ‘Breathe Wind into Me, Chapter 1’ (2018-2019), exhibited as part of Making Space at Fabrica Gallery, Brighton, is a loosely, flowing, stream of consciousness that questions what arises physically and philosophically when life is stripped back to the bare essentials. She is a contributing researcher of Transtechnology Research at Plymouth University.
At RE:SOUND she will present a paper, ‘Locating the Sound of Trauma in me’ as part of Track 6 – Session 6.2 Sound, Bodies and the Life-world II, and will also contribute to the accompanying exhibition.
RE:SOUND takes place from Tuesday 20 – Friday 23 August at several venues in Aalborg, Denmark. The conference is opened on Monday evening with a Leonardo talk by Nina Czegledy. Find more info here.
Sara Bomans has recently experimented with new forms of expression, in particular the use of colour and small formats. She also loves to collaborate with other artists and was therefore invited by Pascal Courcelles to take part in his solo exhibition at Chateau de Petit-Leez at Grand-Leez, Belgium. Sara is showing a selection of her new work as well as her collaborative work with Pascal Courcelles.
The exhibition can still be seen at Chateau de Petit-Leez at Grand-Leez, Belgium until 8 September, open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 6pm or by appointment. More info here.
On the occassion of the award of the Silver Lion to Haris Epaminonda at the Venice Biennial we are happy to publish the translation of a poetic text written by Jean-Louis Vincendeau, inspired by her installation VOL.XVI at Le Plateau, Paris in 2015 (French version).
It is also an occassion to point out two other recent publications by Vincendeau – « Blanche déese de la rivière Separa» in the wonderful magazine Fabulla and « Au bord du blanc», ‘Suis-moi’ in the Revue Sarrazine.
“Stelle”, the word “place”
Haris Epaminonda, Untitled #04 a/w, 2016, VOL.XIXinstallation view at Rodeo, London, 2016
Courtesy: the artist and Rodeo, London / Piraeus. Photo: Plastiques
Haris Epaminonda – VOL. XXVII. 2019 (mixed media installation)
“The air is full of the thrill of things that run away”
Charles Baudelaire “The morning twilight”
Always space in the light of her dreams, Haris Epaminonda develops a grammar of the slightest lags, relations with the fine boundaries of objects, her work similar to a careful trap body. Dismembered kaleidoscope, the recoil of finds just before disappearing. The geisha of the white hillocks have passed with small steps. Ozu’s ghost has placed a small jar in the exact place where it was supposed to be.
Haris Epaminonda is a Cypriot artist, born in 1980 in Nicosia, currently living and working in Berlin after studying in England.
She questions the topos or more deeply a form of “paratopia”. Paratopia is part of the problem of constituent discourses, discourses that play with the boundary between place and non-place. Moving objects into a sphere of unplanned reality, to be built. She must therefore build the territory of her work through a fault itself to be found in a paratopic network, a network that crosses by ignoring any frontiers identified as such.
Chateaubriand eats a pear, elegant, black eyes in the next room, finesse, Veronese drapery, collages stripped of selected objects, pure, clean to wash the eyes.
“The light of a kiss”, a fine sentence by James Lee Byars that can also describe the neat light of Haris Epaminonda’s installations. The sublime is coupled with a certain form of poetry and, as Novalis tells us, “the more poetry, the more reality”.
Premonition for the sudden spark that, along the way, raises and washes the base, the ground of its surviving shadows. The extent of the walls, the extent of the floor: two expanses constituting the essence of a world where objects come to find their place in the arrangement of mastered figures.
Well tempered resonances in the land of freshness of the soul. The pure beyond is contained within the walls, in a certain place, which has become by minimal intervention of the artist, scene of fiction, metaphysical theatre.
Carefully selected objects sometimes partially hidden are presented in their appearance. “The pure appearance”, the ephemeral, the sublime, other words to designate “the ekphanestaton” according to Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe.
The situation is that two starting points can be possible at the same time: the constancy can happen between two distant points thanks to a fiction that has no place at the beginning and which can appear at the point of unforeseeable ambiguity.
Straight angles, finesse of a dragonfly, its transparent wings, bases deeply black lacquered in preamble of rare objects in ambush, arranged in clear frames. To the deployment, to the collection and to the fold; to say the intimate of the accentuated day.
The indirect evocation of the “claustro do silencio”, in its sublimated architecture and in its details, becomes a kind of mirror, form and background of some of Haris Epaminonda’s installations.
Eidos, or ousia eidetike, is the formal substance. It’s the substantiality, or the fact of being that something we were: to ti en einai. It is the assumption of constancy: it is the being of something that lasts to be what it is, that lasts. Continuity of identity: the thing coincides with the fact that its identity is perpetuated. The continuity of identity, something must be beyond the limits.
An intimate diary, streamlined, secret complicity, in its installations there is not really any artifice, trompe-l’oeil, it is quite another thing, a slight shift in presentation, a “non-finito” yet well measured.
Say something about the secret of the stone of Bologna and read Nicolas Lémery in the original edition.
“The mystery remains”
We can approach the mystery,
While leaving it intact,
The individual is associated with necessity, and Peter Szondi often quotes Schleiermacher from the years 1805-1806: “I do not understand anything if I do not understand the necessity of it and cannot reconstruct it”. The soul can find a poetic expression because it has the rigor of syntax in its own right: it can be governed by the conditions established by it in its artistic “world”.
Rainer Maria Rilke, speaking of Rodin, used the word “place”, “Stelle”: “Rodin grasped life in the smallest places”, or: “In such a place light and sculpture seemed to welcome each other, to greet each other shyly, somewhere else to meet each other, ignoring each other; there were endless places but none where nothing happened.”
Without shoes, she removes one by one in a light way the objects that she had placed on the ground, some of which had just arrived. A light chooses the little horse half hidden behind a board; a nice idea to keep them and the board and horse arranged as is. The bridge is cleaned of everything that was not necessary.
Her work integrates films, sculptures and installations, which include images and objects from different eras and origins, provoking multiple encounters and confrontations while maintaining an explicit connection to the past. Pages of ancient books, vases, statuettes, etc., are linked through visual associations that draw a fictional space.
She designs a kind of museum of games of mind and grace in a very neat and bright space. A floating interiority settles in a chemical silence.
The angles are sharp, the light carved with a scalpel; quiet window, as in the middle of summer; a model of the golden pavilion on a bright red base. Nemus and nemos have the common root of “nem” which expresses the idea of dividing: Nemesis the goddess of sharing between what belongs to the gods and what is left to men is therefore revisited by the dialogue between human nature and plant logic. From the Greek verb νέμειν (nemein), meaning “distribute equitably, distribute what is due”.
In the installations of Haris Epaminonda the space is as relaxed and time is caressing under the gaze of the angels. Time and space pass through the body of angels in purity to give meaning to the installation. Heinrich von Kleist in his book “On the Puppet Theatre” similarly evokes “the path of the soul of the dancer” through the movements of dolls and rudimentary or colourful costumes. Here there seems to be little movement but the soul of a dancer who creates emptiness, a paradoxically inhabited void.
The “contemplated” space, the temptation of emptiness, a distance approaching, motionless; “access to this transcendent realm where genuinely great men are alone to enter and where truth dwells.” Simone Weil: “The Need for Roots”.
In his “Treaty of Osiris” Plutarch claims that in the city of Saïs, Egypt one could read on the pediment of the temple dedicated to Minerva, the goddess of wisdom, the following inscription: “I am all that was and will be, and not one of all mortals has yet discovered my veil.”
A space designed to receive the truth of what is given, she places a golden model of the Kyoto Gold Pavilion on a bright red base, these two objects together develop a coherent and fruitful identity.
This is certainly the year of the most surprising and inspiring collaborations for Bureau Doove. Recently I was asked by Rita Cachao if I could supply her with photos of the unique rooftop garden on the submarine base in Saint-Nazaire by Gilles Clément for a project she is developing. As it happened Ollivier Moreels and Jean-Louis Vincendeau had explored the garden already in view of their ongoing film project. Another international collaboration of the Currer Bell College was born. To be continued.
Find below the translation of the text that Jean-Louis Vincendeau wrote in relation with the garden illustrated by some of the photos that Ollivier Moreels took. More to find on his site here.
Summer Base Mission/Gilles Clément
Long before the garden on the base everything begins with this small garden called “the garden for Paul” that Paul Jovet created in his childhood; he observed modest or capricious plants, (for example, parsley planted in a certain place moves on its own accord to find a soil at its convenience) and thereafter he among others studied all his life the dynamics of spontaneous flora.
Paul Jovet was born in Paris on 16 August 1896 and died in Athis-Mons on 28 April 1991. Resident of the city, he was looking for everything that attracted him to the countryside. A true naturalist of his time, he studied all aspects of animal and plant life. Teacher and then botanist at the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, it is this discipline that he favoured from 1923, when he joined the Société botanique de France. His career mainly took place in the Laboratoire de Phanérogamie, which houses the National Herbarium, a world heritage of more than 10 million plant samples, and in 1960 he took over the management of the Centre national de Floristique, created for him.
We arrive at Gilles Clément (born 6 October 6 1943 in Argenton-sur-Creuse, Indre), a French gardener, landscaper, horticultural engineer, botanist and writer. To present the “planetary garden” here is what he says about it: “We live on a planet that is or may be a kind of garden without walls but nevertheless finished: the planetary enclosure, which is none other than the biosphere, in a spatially and ‘volumetrically’ finite and limited world, occupied by more or less good and responsible gardeners”.
“The garden in motion” was already there with the child Paul. “The Planetary Garden”, a major exhibition by Gilles Clément in the Grande Halle de la Villette in 1999/2000 put into orbit this new look gardener in black leather pants and flawless white T-shirt who knew how to cultivate his difference and who had the sense of shock formulas.
Many beautiful achievements later, a contagious infatuation arrived to the city of Saint-Nazaire, which ordered the roof garden for its submarine base. We know the rest; received more or less well by the population, this garden is all the more important to Gilles Clément because it has given him trouble.
It is divided into three places: “Le Bois des Trembles”, “Le Jardin des Orpins et des Graminées” and finally “Le Jardin des Étiquettes” (the latter currently has no labels).All this evolves slowly and this merit of holding in winds and mist provides an emotion and a certain empathy.
During the recent film festival Zone Portuaires at Saint-Nazaire, dedicated to Scandinavian film, Ollivier Moreels, Jean-Louis Vincendeau and I had the honour to colloborate with the Icelandic actress and poet Didda Jonsdottir. We filmed in the port of Saint-Nazaire where Didda wrote some of her poems on the rusty buoys as part of The Film without End by Moreels and Vincendeau.
The movie recordings have now been edited and subtitled. You can find them here.
The text by Jean-Louis Vincendeau is a poetic description of the film shooting with references to the wonderful film Back soon by Solveig Anspach in which Didda Jonsdottir plays the lead role. The text also makes allusion to the follow up project by Currer Bell College in which the relation between Saint-Nazaire, Nantes, Rouen and Iceland will be further explored. To be continued.
Rusty sea buoys deposited there as in a cemetery have known a more enviable destiny. Essential to pilots to carry the ships to port, they have saved many lives without looking like it, and there, after being painted and repainted, they are faded, rusty and considered to be end-of-life, discharged on this unfrequented part of the basin.
They saw ships throughout these years of good and loyal service, they are now distanced from currents and storms and thus form a gallery of endearing portraits on their flanks, especially for a female poet like Didda Jonsdottir on a sighting walk in the port.
These buoys or rusty beacons, empty shells, become the support of poems written in Icelandic by Didda with chalks and therefore ephemeral. A poetess actress at the same time tender and a fighter, sharp and almost fierce, she imposes an eruptive tongue; words that flow like the lava of her island, irrigated by a life force, an urgency.
Walk among the rusty buoys of our passenger, both puzzled and resolute about the fate of offensive and offensive beauty. In this context one could repeat Paul Valéry’s sentence: “I feel every word in all its strength, for I have waited for it indefinitely”.
We can come back on ‘brazen’ in one of her poems, the bones struck by the cold, the floor creaking, later the young woman fighting with language, there to hold the chalk, here to clear the snow in the middle of the day in the living matter. The mute that comes to dig her words in memory of a paralysed raven, the drop in its beak. Landscape cloudy waiting, the word “sprout”.
In 1864, according to Jules Verne, a neighbour from Nantes, three explorers found the entrance to the centre of the earth; on 20 June 2019, the eve of summer, 155 years later, three other daring explorers return to the same path.* Following the discovery of an ancient Runic manuscript, it is necessary to return to the foot of the famous volcano Snæfellsjökull, the “glacier of the snow mountain” and to find the passage…
* The first three were Otto Lidenbrock, his nephew Axel and Hans Bjelke, the next three were Edith Doove, Ollivier Moreels and Jean-Louis Vincendeau
The 2019 RIXC Festival at Riga, Latvia aims at complicating the pervasively employed notion of “green” by providing a cross-disciplinary platform for the discussions and artistic interventions exploring one of the most paradoxical and broadest topics of our times. The festival will feature the UN/GREEN exhibition opening that takes place in the Latvian National Museum of Art, and the 4th Open Fields conference which aims to ‘un-green’ greenness, eco-systemically reconnect post-human postures, and discover and unpack ‘Naturally Artificial Intelligences.’
AnneMarie Maes participates with the installation ‘Sensorial Skin for an Intelligent Guerrilla Beehive’ and with the film ‘Variation Games’. She also will give a talk in which she will give a quick introduction of the current state of the art of bioart and biodesign in an international context. This will be followed with an overview of the research and development of her long-term biotech project: ‘Sensorial Skin for an Intelligent Guerrilla Beehive’.
Her research navigates between experimental urban horticulture, scientific research, and metabolic sculptures. In her experiments she connects living systems and biotechnology with artistic and technological prototyping and experimentation. Her toolset includes microbial life and material science, as well as various measurement and information technologies such as scanning electron microscopes (SEM), sensors, Big Data cloud storage, signal processing, and Artificial Intelligence. Her artworks follow a complex work-methodology combining first-hand observation in research gardens and rooftop apiaries, laboratory probes and digital monitoring combined with a research into new, organic and smart materials.
She will highlight past and future collaborations with scientists at universities in Barcelona, Brussels and Amsterdam, with fablabs and Open BioLabs.
The RIXC festival and conference take place at the Latvian National Museum of Art in Riga from Thursday 4 till Saturday 6 July with the exhibition UN/GREEN opening Friday evening. The exhibition will run untill 22 September 2019.
More info http://ungreen.rixc.org/
Very happy to announce that Sara Bomans is one of the finalists of this year’s Luxembourg Art Prize that supports upcoming international artists. Of course prizes are not important for Bureau Doove to appreciate the artists we choose to work with but it certainly boosts the artist’s confidence.
The finalists are included in a group show in the Pinacothèque in Luxembourg and the final winner will be announced in three months time so fingers crossed. In the meantime, congratulations Sara!
Sara will be on a residency in Saint-Nazaire from 8 till 12 june.
The featured image shows new work made during a residency at Galerie Pinsart, Bruges.
You can buy it for just 5 euros at the Editions Jou website via this page on which you can also listen to an excerpt.
1928. Henri Ford embarks on intensive rubber mining. To clear a million hectares of forest, in the Amazon, on the banks of Rio Tapajós, to plant rubber trees, and to build a factory city, a utopian city, with school, hospital, dancing… The project was a real failure, Ford never exploited rubber.
2018. Florence Jou discovers the history of Fordlandia during an exhibition and round tables organized by the collective Suspended Spaces at the Colonie in Paris. She writes a poetic survey based on testimonies, anecdotes, observed gestures, readings… She proposes Dominique Leroy to co-create a sound piece.
We asked Didda to leave a trace in Saint-Nazaire, writing her poems on the massive buoys in the harbour. The recordings are part of the ongoing film project by Jean-Louis Vincendeau and Ollivier Moreels.
Find one of the poems here with an English translation and some images taken at the film shoot.
Við vorum ekki
og gengum með
sprengjur á öxlunum
og áttum að finna
We were not
of our parents eyes
not at the front
in the line
of favourite children
walking with bombs
on our shoulders
supposed to find
More to follow.
Performance and poems – Didda Jonsdottir
Concept and recording of the film – Ollivier Moreels and Jean-Louis Vincendeau
Images of the film shoot – Edith Doove
For the second residency in Saint-Nazaire Bureau Doove is happy to invite Dutch artist Jan Willem Maris. In his paintings, photo’s, constructions and installations, Maris investigates space, both in its private and public appearances. He questions how they operate emotionally.
Public squares with which he has a specific affinity, represent both freedom and security. It’s no coincidence that they play an important role in processes of change all over the world. These kinds of conflicting emotions are used in the series ‘Shelter’ for which he applied an intricately layered multidisciplinary process. The idea that from a shelter the outside world can be experienced as both threatening and luring while the shelter not necessarily is a perfect shield, stood at its base. Taking an existing square as a point of departure, Maris subsequently built a model in bamboo and coloured paper to be able to feel this space closer at hand. This construction was then used as a projection screen for videos with the footage of the effect of these projections being processed in the series of paintings.
Often space is thus defined through unlikely means, observations slightly out of centre. For instance by focussing on the electrical wiring in a room or other space. Likewise, the recent series ‘Spots’ defines space through the ephemeral presence and quality of light that penetrates through its boundaries, reflecting on and playing with other parts of the investigated space. In all cases an uncanny kind of tension is either observed or created.
During his first residency at Saint-Nazaire from 5 June Maris will explore its specific spaces and surroundings.
Wires 7, oil on canvas, 70 x 85 cm, 2017
Light Spots: The Black Paintings 01, oil on canvas, 50 x 70 cm, 2018
Light and Dark Spots no. 8, oil on canvas, 53 x 73 cm, 2019
Bright Light 10, The Black Paintings, oil on canvas, 43 x 60 cm, 2019
Evening Light Spots no. 11, The Black Paintings, oil on canvas, 90 x 120 cm, 2019
Living in times where the sound of birds is rapidly diminishing, we may see Rachel Mundy’s study on bird song, Animal Musicalities – Birds, Beasts, and Evolutionary Listening, to be more than timely. Far from being a simple field guide for recognising predominantly birds (the beasts from the title are hardly mentioned), this is in the first place an extremely rich publication on the evolution of the study of birdsong. What makes it so rich, and at times somewhat confusing, is that Mundy connects this study with various matters of difference and race. The bird is namely seen as “the other” and is put into connection with “the enduring evaluations of species, races and cultures”, including the treatment of women. Find my full review of the book here.